Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ananteswar temple of Manjeswar

Ananteswar temple of Manjeswar


Manjeswar is a small town on the sea shore in the northern extremity of Kerala . It houses one of the most important temples of the gowda Saraswath Brahmins who migrated from Goa to various places in the west coast.. The temple houses three Gods, Anantha(Or Adhi Sesha) , Iswara( Shiva) and Narasimha. It is believed that the siva temple was existing there for thousands of years and was consecrated there by sage Virupaksha. Over years due to natural happenings the building of the temple got completely broken down. At that time a Gowda Saraswath Brahmin called Ranga Sarma was travelling south from Goa along with a statue of Anantha. He accidentally came across this temple , and stayed there and rebuilt it. He also consecrated the statue of Adhi sesha along with Lord Shiva , making it an Anantheswara temple. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself consecrated the idol of Narasimha in the temple. Lord Mukhyaprana, Lord Rudra, Devi Laxmi, Lord MahaGanapathy and Lord Garuda are the other deities in the Temple.
An image of Lord Subrahmanya also has been installed in the temple in a place in a slightly lower elevation but with lot of serpent holes.
Just behind the idols in the sanctum sanctorum, there is an ant hill made of white mud. Mud from this hill is taken and distributed as Prasada in the temple. This is supposed to have curative properties and in spite of centuries of distribution , the mud does not seem to get exhausted.
There is a small pond in the temple called Sesha Theertham. Devotees believe that by taking bath in its waters skin diseases would be completely cured. The descendents of Ranga Sarma used to act as oracles of the temple and used to give predictions and answer the queries of the devotees. This practice has been discontinued after 1935. It is also believed that Shiva Ganas surround the temple. The chief of them called Jogi Gana is consecrated on the North eastern corner of the temple. People offer Coconuts to Jogi Gana. When things are misplaced or lost , they come to the temple of Jogi Gana and promise to make offerings of coconuts once the property is recovered.
On the sixth phase of moon(Sashti ) in the waxing phase a chariot festival is held in the temple. This coincides with Skanda Sashti.

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